Jan. 13, 2011 at 2:12 PM ET
As Wikipedia gets ready to mark its 10th anniversary as the Web's, and perhaps the world's, most-used encyclopedia, a new study says that 53 percent of American adult Internet users turned to the collaborative source of information as of May 2010, up from 36 percent in February 2007.
And, 62 percent of those ages 18 to 29 regularly use the site, says Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, which released the report Thursday. (Bear in mind, Pew's study focused on American adults, not those under 18, where the percentage of users would probably be much, much higher among the grade school to high school set.)
In the "scope of general online activities, using Wikipedia is more popular than sending instant messages (done by 47 percent of Internet users) or rating a product, service, or person (32 percent), but is less popular than using social network sites (61 percent) or watching videos on sites like YouTube (66 percent)."
Pew's findings are based on phone interviews done by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between April 29 and May 30, 2010 of 2,252 adults ages.
The anyone-can-add-their-2-cents-to-the-site encyclopedia has had many controversies and inaccuracies — as recently as last weekend when it initially said, based on unverified reports, that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had been killed.
But it's working hard to improve such mishaps by giving "special editing privileges to trusted editors while preventing newer contributors from spreading misinformation," according to the Associated Press.